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El Paso, Texas Launches Digital-Inclusion Initiative with Cisco Wireless Mesh Network


Cisco® today announced that the city of El Paso, Texas is deploying Cisco’s wireless mesh solution for an outdoor wireless network that will help improve government efficiencies and provide Internet access and application delivery to citizens and businesses.

The new wireless mesh network is part of the Digital El Paso Project, a strategic collaboration between the city, county, El Paso Independent School District and the city Housing Authority, which seeks to revitalize El Paso’s downtown area and bring universal Internet access and services to underserved citizens, school children, public housing residents and small businesses.

With its proximity to the U.S./Mexican border, El Paso is a diverse city that serves a largely Mexican-American population of 700,000 in its 1,013 square miles. The new outdoor wireless mesh network will help level the playing field for underserved citizens and businesses in El Paso by providing digital inclusion, spurring economic development and bridging the educational gap that exists for many of the El Paso Independent School District’s students.

“The City is excited to be a partner in the Digital El Paso initiative,” said Joyce Wilson, City Manager for the City of El Paso. “This is an important ingredient to our downtown redevelopment efforts, as well as a vehicle to engage an underserved residential community by providing Internet access and connectivity and thus reducing the digital divide that now exists in our lower income neighborhoods.”

“The Digital El Paso project has the potential to significantly improve the lives of our citizens,” said El Paso County Judge, Anthony Cobos. “Our ultimate goal is to make El Paso the most connected county on the U.S./Mexican border and the digital El Paso wireless network is a critical step in achieving this goal.”

To deliver El Paso’s new outdoor wireless mesh network, Cisco engaged partners Intel, Accela and Panasonic, as part of the Digital Communities Initiatives. Intel provided funding for the digital inclusion and wireless site surveys. Panasonic is providing laptops for the City’s field applications and Accela is providing its popular land management software for city inspection, permit and code compliance applications. The integrated, standards-based wireless mesh network will support voice, video and data services and will be managed from the County Courthouse as an extension of their existing wireless network. Coverage will include public areas, as well as parks, buildings and residences.

In addition to Internet access for City residents, school children and businesses, the City of El Paso will evaluate a wide range of applications for municipal and emergency services, infrastructure support and homeland security - all of which can streamline operations, reduce costs and further El Paso’s goal of becoming a truly, digital city.

“El Paso is part of the vanguard of cities discovering how outdoor wireless networks can both improve municipal operations and enhance the lives of its citizens,” said Alan Cohen, vice president, mobility solutions for Cisco. “Cisco’s outdoor wireless solutions are the platform of choice for a wide range of cities and municipalities across the nation and around the world.”

Cisco Outdoor Wireless Solutions

Cisco Outdoor Wireless Network Solutions use wireless mesh technology, wireless bridging and mobile networks to allow government, public safety, and transportation agencies to build cost-effective outdoor wireless networks for private or public use. These technologies are designed to provide highly secure, high-bandwidth, and scalable solutions to enable access to multiple applications, including those for police, fire and emergency services, as well as those for city operations, such as remote access to city applications, automated meter reading, and permits verification and compliance.


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